Wishy washy foxglove and a busy bee

Wishy washy foxglove and a busy bee

Here in the UK we are enjoying a long weekend , to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee . Whatever you may think of the royal family, it really is a remarkable achievement, and she is a remarkable person, someone who stands for duty and has been a constant in all our lives for so many years.

So this morning I woke up to a glorious sunny day, and ate my breakfast al fresco admiring the view from the top of my garden. 


Our small village have certainly got into the spirit of things with flags and bunting festooning the cottages

It really cheers everybody up.

However id you have a moment between making your cucumber sandwiches, or putting together your jubilee trifle , maybe a hour or two of watercolour painting will take you away from the world.

The foxgloves are now everywhere, from looking out expectantly for the first one there are now hundreds decorating the hedgerows. 

I wanted to show you all again how I go about exploiting watercolour's extraordinary properties, to make a lovely watercoloury piece


So I sketched out the foxglove and the bee. Then sprayed the paper with a fine mist, from a water bottle. Then I tapped from my watery brush, droplets of watercolour pinky paint, I used alizarin crimson.

Then I dapped the bits I didn't like with a tissue and let the whole thing dry completely 

Some watercolourists would carry on wet in wet, controlling the paint and buildling up an impression of the flower. I like to go in with some detail to have a contrast between the loose and the tight painting. So I began on the small leaves at the top of the flower. Nice bluey greens

Then onto the flower itself. It's amazing how many colours are in one flower. There is blue, orangy red and yellow, as well as pink

I like to leave parts for the ridges on the flower. Getting darker as I go


Then to begin on the inside too, building up colours and shadow. I carefully paint around the white spots with a very small brush. If you're not confident you could use masking fluid.

See how I am using blues in with the pinks to reflect the colours around the flower

Then the bee, yellows first then the 'black' parts which I really paint in cerulean blue and paynes grey.

Small brushes and attention to detail.

Finally the wings and the legs.

Now I add a hint at the other foxgloves around and add a few finishing touches, now back to the jubilee.....




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1 comment

That’s very pretty and I love the detail. I saw my first foxglove in the woods this week, they are slow to emerge and have not developed their full colour. I have tried painting them often but can never capture their beauty as well as I want – I am self taught watercolour and struggle with ‘cauliflowers’ streaking and curling paper!


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